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Topless Portrait Of Bea Arthur Sells For $1.9 Million

Kevin Blair Kevin Blair
5/16/2013 12:16pm EDT

Bea Arthur

An anonymous bidder paid nearly $2 million to take ownership of a notorious topless portrait of actress Bea Arthur.

Brooklyn, New York-based artist John Currin painted "Bea Arthur Naked" in 1991, causing controversy and cries of misogyny from critics.

"It's historically significant — it's radical to sexualize someone people think of as asexual," Christie's spokesman Koji Inoue told the New York Post. "The painting has a visual toughness to it — but it's also fun."

The piece went under the hammer at Christie's auction house in New York City Wednesday night, fetching a whopping $1,915,000. It was expected to sell for upwards of $2.5 million at the Post-War and Contemporary Art sale, which also featured works by Roy Lichtenstein and Jackson Pollock.

See the NSFW painting at

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